I became a Native American medicine man!

The Roman Catholic Church has seven sacraments.

They have sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist), vocation (Matrimony and Holy Orders), and healing (Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick).

The sacraments of initiation are pretty complete.

Those of vocation unfortunately force some to take either one vocation, or the other.

You can’t have both vocations. Roman Catholics don’t allow both Matrimony and Holy Orders for the same people.

And making things even more restrictive, the word ‘Holy Orders’ refers to the three orders of bishop, priest, and deacon, but while the order of Matrimony is open to both sexes, the order of Holy Orders is open only to one, unmarried sex.

Certainly the sacraments of vocation are a little too rigid, but those of healing are actually entirely incomplete, so how can these seven sacraments lead to the completion supposedly implied by the number seven?

There is supposedly spiritual healing in the sacrament of Reconciliation (also called Penance, Forgiveness, Confession and Conversion). And there is probably a lot of truth in that. But what physical healing can Anointing of the Sick genuinely provide, if it is administered to Catholics who, because of sickness or old age, are in danger of death? Not for anything, but the sacrament is also referred to as Unction, and in the past as Extreme Unction, and it is one of the three sacraments that constitute the Last Rites. More than physical healing, Anointing of the Sick looks more like something you do when there is nothing left that can be done. Perhaps it can provide salvation for the soul, but the body is probably left out in the cold entirely, and that is a cruel thought.

So the Roman Catholic Church has no eighth sacrament called Healing of the Sick, and it is clearly a badly missing sacrament. Other Christian churches have no such thing either, unless the bishop or priest is a medical doctor as well, but this is practically a non-existent tradition, with the roles of healer and minister usually rigidly separated by the state, just as rigidly, perhaps, as the Roman Catholic Church separates those who may participate in the sacraments of Matrimony, or Holy Orders.

At best, you can have a bishop or priest who may also provide pastoral care (Christians are not the only religious men who provide this), but this too is not a common thing, and it is usually spiritual care, not care of physical ailments.

Well, as an Independent Catholic and Cesidian Bishop, I am instituting with my episcopal authority a new religious tradition which makes natural medicine an integral part of my spiritual orientation, not something separate from it.

You cannot practice your healing ministry under the full weight and protection of the Native American Cultural Protection and Free Exercise of Religion Act (NACPFERA), formerly known as the Native American Free Exercise of Religion Act (NAFERA). The laws only apply to the protection of Native American Religion, and ministers of such religions are identified in the law as ‘Medicine Men or Women’, ‘Traditional Leaders’, and ‘Native American Practitioners’. They must be enrolled members of recognised Tribes, Bands, or Traditional Communities, or they must be recognised by such members. Such ministers are protected under the law so long as their ministerial practices take place within bona fide religious ceremony.

Well, I already knew this, but I was waiting for confirmation. On 11 July 2011, I was spiritually adopted into the Nemenhah Band and Native American Traditional Organization (NBNATO), and I became a Nemenhah Medicine Man, and a Minister of the Oklevueha Native American Church (NAC) of Sanpete.

I now hope to eventually become a knowledgeable Native American Practitioner (NAP).

All of a sudden, not only I can think about an eighth sacrament called Healing of the Sick, but I have the right to even practice these religious beliefs under the full protection of US law through the Native American Cultural Protection and Free Exercise of Religion Act (NACPFERA), formerly known as the Native American Free Exercise of Religion Act (NAFERA), and internationally, under the full protection of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).